Willys & Worthog

We have previously covered the tale of the 190th Fighter Squadron’s 75th anniversary A-10 Thunderbolt II made up to emulate the antecedent squadron’s P-47D Thunderbolt’s Northwest Europe 1944 livery, including OD “ground attack” scheme with white cowling and tail stripes, WWII roundels, 8N squadron code, and D-Day invasion stripes.

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing is painted with a heritage WWII paint scheme at the Air National Guard paint facility in Sioux City, Iowa. The paint scheme is designed to replicate the look of the original P-47 Thunderbolt as it appeared during the 2nd World War. The 124th Fighter Wing conceived the idea in order to commemorate the unit’s 75th anniversary and lineage to their predecessor, the 405th Fighter Squadron. U.S. Air National Guard photo: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

It is a striking aircraft, to be sure, and the squadron has recently added a companion Willys in a photo series that really does it justice.

Via the Idaho National Guard’s PAO:

The Idaho Military History Museum’s World War II 1941 restored Willys Jeep or the 124th Fighter Wing’s heritage A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog, painted to resemble the World War II P-47 Thunderbolt.

The Jeep became one of the museum’s newest exhibits this year. Rob Lytle, a retired brigadier general, spent several months restoring the Jeep to get it operational again. Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 650,000 Jeeps were produced by the American Bantam Car Company, the Ford Motor Company and Willys Overland-Motors. This Jeep was painted to represent Idaho’s 183rd Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer-Tractor Drawn) and is similar to those the battalion operated in the European theater of operations between June 1944 and May 1945.

Earlier this year, the Idaho National Guard honored its heritage by unveiling the vintage-looking A-10 Thunderbolt II to pay tribute to the 405th Fighter Squadron’s P-47 Thunderbolts that provided aerial support during World War II. The wartime 405th Fighter Squadron returned to the United States in October of 1945 and was inactivated. It was reactivated and designated as the 190th Fighter Squadron, allotted to the Idaho Air National Guard, in 1946. The A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthogs came to Idaho in 1996.


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